CAPE TOWN - Shoprite produced stellar performance in the half year to last December, with a total turnover growth of 6.3percent from R71.297billion to R75.823bn.

This came on the back of 3.9percent growth in volume of products sold and 3.6percent growth in the number of customers. Africa’s largest food retailer said in its interim financial results released yesterday that its trading profit was 5percent higher at R4.104bn.

Chief executive Pieter Engelbrecht said this was a satisfactory performance given that Shoprite South Africa’s internal inflation dropped seven percentage points to just 0.4percent compared with the previous year. “Group results were boosted by a strong performance in our core South African supermarket operations, which grew turnover by 7.8percent.”

Engelbrecht said the performance by the South African operations, boosted by the continued success of Checkers’ sharpened focus on high-income group customers, helped offset the effect of a challenging year for non-South African operations. “In SA, where we sold 4.1percent more products, we managed an 11.7percent increase in trading profit despite our internal inflation with more than 5000 of our products selling at lower prices than last year.

The group will continue to shield South Africa’s poorest consumers Initiatives aimed at protecting those most at risk from the upcoming VAT increase are also planned,” said Engelbrecht. An increased dividend of 205c a share was declared, 13.9percent higher than the 180c of the corresponding period.